Improving the Life Chances of Vulnerable Youth
Dear AES Friends and Family,

Happy New Year, and thank YOU! As we reflect on 2018, it was a a year of extraordinary growth, programs, fundraising, and impact for AES. ( You can read more about AES' 2018 highlights here to see the impact YOU helped make .)

2019 is already starting out as a year of impact as well! Young people from across our programs are impacting our schools and communities as they pursue their passion projects, gather signatures to get a measure placed on the 2020 ballot, and speak out about improving our education system.

But 2019 is just getting started, and so are we! So thank YOU for being a part of our AES family, and join us as make 2019 a remarkable year.
Together we will improve the life chances of vulnerable youth!
Where It All Began: A Message from our Founders
As our AES family and programs continue to grow, we still strive to remain diligent to our mission and the values that AES was built upon over 27 years ago. We took a moment to interview two of our founders, Bernie and CC, to share with you the heart of AES - where it started, where it is, and where we will go together in the future.
The DLA is Celebrating and Growing
DLA Graduates Dress Professionally Thanks to our Generous Donors
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the first cohort of the Davitto Leadership Academy purchased professional clothing to wear at their graduation ceremony. Each graduate received a $125 Macy's gift card and the advice of a Macy's stylist to help them find a professional outfit. As shared by one DLA participant, "This was the first time I ever went into a Macy's. I never thought I would be able to buy anything from there!" Thank you to our DLA Gift Card Donors for making this shopping day possible!
DLA Level 2 Graduates - Now Taking Action in Level 3
On January 19th, the first cohort of the DLA graduated from Levels 1 and 2. Each graduate presented their passion project plan and the impact they want to make in our community. This cohort began Level 3 in February and are now putting their plans into action with the support of their adult Advisory Board members.
More Youth Participants and Adult Mentors join the DLA Family
In early February, a new cohort of adult Advisory Board Mentors completed training to learn how to mentor young people and share their personal stories to help others grow. Advisory Board Mentors play a critical role in supporting DLA participants. As shared by DLA Peer Mentor Janeil, Advisory Board mentors "bring their own experiences, knowledge, wisdom, and perspectives to every conversation. I love that we are learning from the adult generation and they are learning from the younger generation as well."
Also in February, a new cohort of youth completed DLA Level 1. They built bonds with their peers, Peer Mentors, and Advisory Board mentors while sharing their personal stories and passions. This cohort has advanced to Level 2 and is now learning how to create passion project plans to address issues in their schools and community. As shared by DLA Coordinator Ana, " We met our new group of DLA students on February 9th who have inspired and motivated me to continue the fight for youth rights. I can't describe how honored I am to experience a new group of students grow into future leaders who speak their truth to power, lead with heart, and aspire for greatness!"
Thank You to Simpson University!
DLA Graduates Get an Remarkable Surprise
Simpson University Director of Admissions Peter Martinez surprised our graduates by offering a scholarship to all students who wish to attend Simpson University. He offered to bring interested students to campus for a weekend visit and pledged $1000 in further support of the DLA. Simpson University has continuously been a generous supporter of our DLA program. We are thankful for its support and for providing DLA graduates resources to pursue a higher education degree!
SYA-CAT: Making Impact Across Sacramento
In January, the Sacramento Youth Alliance-Community Action Team (SYA-CAT) realigned their 2019 goals with the core values of Opportunity Youth United (OYU) and committed itself to civic engagement. SYA-CAT also launched its new logo as part of AES' rebranding efforts. As shared by AES's Visual Design Coordinator, Skyla, "The SYA-CAT logo represents the heart of the initiative and the action of its participants in making real change. It takes a village, and with all hands in, SYA-CAT helps to change policy for youth within Sacramento and across the nation."
SYA-CAT Gathers Signatures to Support Ballot Measure
As part of the Sac Kids First Coalition , SYA-CAT members have been collecting signatures to get a measure placed on the March 2020 ballot that would create a Sacramento Children's Fund. The measure requires the City of Sacramento to set aside 2.5% of its existing unrestricted revenues, or about $12 million annually, for children and youth services. 55,000 signatures are needed to get the measure placed on the ballot, and as of mid-February, over 40,000 signatures have been gathered.
SYA-CAT Marches for the Dream
On January 21st, SYA-CAT members attended the Martin Luther King, Jr. March for the Dream walk from Sacramento City College to the Convention Center. They then participated in the Diversity Expo as part of the Sac Kids First Coalition . SYA-CAT members helped to gather signatures to support the placement of the Sacramento Children's Fund measure on the March 2020 ballot.
DLA Students Speak Out About Improving Schools
Branae, Dan Sackheim ( Consultant at Educational Options Office, California Department of Education ), and Brian at the YCOE Conference
DLA Level 2 graduates and current high school students, Branae and Brian, put their DLA training into action at the Yolo County Office of Education TUBE Summit in January. They participated in a student focus group to share youth perspective about school culture and climate and how teachers and other adults can show students they care.

The heart of AES' work has always been focused on helping to improve the K-12 system by empowering youth to share their voice and be a part of the decision-making process for change. We are proud of Branae and Brian for taking this opportunity to share youth voice and influence the system!
The City of Sacramento Shares the Kings!
Thank YOU City of Sacramento!
Thank you to the City of Sacramento for providing our AES family with 20 tickets to the Kings v. Denver Nuggets game on Jan. 3rd. It was the first time many of our young people had experienced a professional basketball game, and the game provided a great opportunity for our young people and adult mentors to bond. We appreciate the City's support of our youth!
Thank You to Our Generous Donors!
YOU make the difference in the lives of vulnerable youth!
Bernie Davitto
Charles Carter
Jennifer Halford
Mallory Mackey
Kapani Taukolo
Thank you to our Recurring Gift Donors,
who graciously donate every month to support AES!
Help Us Reach Our Goal: Big Day of Giving!
AES is excited to share that for the first time ever, we will participate in Big Day of Giving this May! Funds raised will help support AES programs, like the DLA and SYA-CAT. A generous donor has pledged to match up to $25,000 in donations raised! That means that every dollar you donate will be matched, up to $25,000!

S o mark your calendars for May 2nd and help us reach our Big Day of Giving goal!
GABY Grant Awarded to Support Passion Project
In January, the Sacramento Community Foundation Grants Advisory Board for Youth (GABY) awarded grant funding to 16 youth-led projects in the Sacramento area. With AES as the sponsor organization, DLA and SYA member Jennifer Su and her classmate were awarded funding for their senior project at Rio Americano High School.

Their project is a magazine called "The Sacramento Zeitgeist: Voices of Now" and is dedicated to empowering Sacramento youth through art, culture, and activism. As shared by Jennifer, "We want to empower and educate young people who, like us, are coming into their voices. We intend to remind youth that they are part of a community, and that this community can be a beautiful place of creation, innovation, and collaboration."
Your Support Positively Impacts Young People
"I have really appreciated the family-like atmosphere our mentors have created. The positive energy encourages me to continue coming to training sessions, and motivated me to continue pursuing my passion project."

- Kaleemah, DLA Level 3 Participant
"SYA provides me the opportunity to confront and address youth issues in Sacramento through civic engagement, advocacy, and peer support. I get to work alongside youth who are as passionate as I in wanting a better Sacramento now and for the future."
- Aaron, SYA Member
Support AES By Signing Up for AmazonSmile
Did you know that when you shop, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to AES? Just click on the AmazonSmile logo to the right and select Alliance for Education Solutions. When you shop, you will support AES without spending additional money!